14 personality traits for success in customer service

Customer service is an art that demands more than just answering questions and resolving issues. It’s about creating memorable experiences that leave customers feeling valued and heard. To thrive in customer service roles demands particular personality traits and competencies, and identifying and assessing these traits during the hiring process is essential for ensuring your new customer service representatives can meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

At Clevry, we’ve delved deep into the nuances of customer service roles to highlight the essential personality traits that mark the difference between good and exceptional service. Our personality questionnaire for customer service is developed through extensive role research and the expert knowledge of our Business Psychologists to help you hire with confidence and reduce employee turnover.

Success traits in customer service

Below are the 14 traits we have found essential for success in customer service roles, bucketed into three categories: Making customers happy, Delivering great service, and Bouncing back.

Making customers happy

A cornerstone in customer service. Making customers happy is about prioritising their needs and enhancing their overall experience with your service.

  • Poised: Exhibiting a natural ease in social interactions is crucial in customer service. A poised individual can make customers feel comfortable and valued, setting the stage for a positive interaction.
  • Approachable: Being perceived as friendly and easy to relate to can break down barriers with customers. An approachable demeanour makes it easier for customers to express their needs and concerns, fostering a supportive and welcoming environment.
  • Adaptable: The ability to adjust one’s behaviour to match the situation or the customer’s personality is invaluable. Adaptable customer service professionals can navigate diverse interactions smoothly, ensuring each customer feels understood and respected.
  • Listening: Active listening is the foundation of effective customer service. Employees can provide thoughtful, personalised solutions by truly hearing and considering what customers say, enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • Humour: A sense of humour can lighten the atmosphere and build rapport. Valuing a fun work environment and incorporating light-hearted moments when appropriate can make customer interactions more enjoyable and memorable.

Delivering Great Service

Dedicated to exceeding customer expectations, delivering excellent service is about going above and beyond in every interaction.

  • Rigorous: Attention to detail and a commitment to doing things right are non-negotiable. A rigorous approach ensures that services are delivered to the highest standard, reflecting well on the company and satisfying customer needs.
  • Tenacious: Persistence is key in customer service, especially when faced with challenging tasks or situations. A tenacious spirit helps see through customer issues to a satisfactory resolution, demonstrating dedication and reliability.
  • Decisive: The ability to make quick, effective decisions benefits both the customer and the service provider. Decisive individuals can swiftly navigate through problems, offering timely and efficient solutions.
  • Striving: A drive for clear outcomes and achievements motivates employees to excel. Strivers are action-oriented, seeking meaningful contributions through their work and finding satisfaction in positive customer feedback.
  • Order: Preferring a structured environment, those who value order can maintain organisation and efficiency. This trait is crucial for managing the complexities of customer service, ensuring that processes run smoothly and standards are upheld.

Bouncing Back

Resilience and a positive outlook are crucial to overcoming the challenges inherent in customer service roles.

  • Calm: Staying composed under pressure is essential in customer service. A calm demeanour helps diffuse tense situations, providing stability and confidence to customers and colleagues.
  • Resilient: The ability to recover from setbacks or criticism without becoming discouraged is a valuable trait. Resilient individuals can maintain a positive service attitude, learning from experiences to improve future interactions.
  • Internal Control: Believing in one’s ability to influence outcomes fosters a proactive approach to challenges. Those with a strong sense of internal control take responsibility for their actions and work towards achieving the best possible customer results.
  • Optimistic: An optimistic outlook can transform customer service encounters. Expecting positive outcomes and focusing on the potential for success, optimistic customer service professionals inspire confidence and satisfaction in their customers.

Other assessments for customer service hiring

Identifying the ideal personality for customer service roles is crucial, and integrating additional assessment methods can further enhance the effectiveness of your hiring strategy.

Ability tests

Ability tests evaluate specific skills pertinent to customer service positions. For instance, verbal reasoning tests assess a candidate’s ability to comprehend and act upon written instructions. This is fundamental in ensuring that customer service representatives can efficiently process information and perform tasks requiring attention to detail and understanding complex instructions.

Situational Judgement Tests

Situational judgment tests (SJTs) present real-life scenarios likely encountered in customer service settings, asking candidates to select the most appropriate course of action. These tests are invaluable for gaining insights into a candidate’s judgement and decision-making skills in contexts reflective of their potential job environment. Clevry’s customer service SJT measures candidates’ judgement and reasoning approach across a range of situations typical for a customer service role. Employers can better predict future job performance and alignment with company values by assessing how candidates handle challenging situations.

Wrapping up

Attracting and maintaining the best customer service talent is challenging, requiring a thoughtful recruitment and selection approach. By employing a combination of personality assessments, ability tests, and situational judgment tests, you can make your hiring process more comprehensive and effective. This strategy not only aids in identifying candidates who are a perfect fit for customer service roles but also contributes to a workforce capable of exceeding customer expectations and fostering long-term loyalty.

See how Clevry helped a Nordic publicly listed company reduce employee turnover by 23% and achieve direct recruitment savings of 250,000€. >>Customer Service Case Study


Isn’t it time that your company gets the tools to hire the best?

Get in touch with our sales to learn all about our solutions.


Would you like to have our content delivered to your feed? Follow us in your favorite channel!

Or subscribe to our newsletter
Find your Soft Skills
Let's Go!
Want to check out a sample report to see what Clevry can uncover?